As part of its continued push for gender diversity and inclusion — specifically for African women and women of African descent, Leading Ladies Africa is pleased to publish its list of 50 African women who are making an impact in the workplace and corporate world.
In its 4th year, the list continues to amplify and recognize the impact and achievements African women are making today and beyond in the world of technology, finance, sports, advocacy, manufacturing and other key business sectors around the world.
It is our firm belief that companies and organizations all over the world, and the communities they serve stand to benefit from the diversity and representation that these amazing women bring to the table — and we will continue to advocate for their continued, all-round inclusion.
Adia Sowho — Adia Sowho is the Chief Marketing Officer of Frontline telecommunications company, MTN Nigeria. She is the female Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for the first time since it commenced operations in Nigeria about two decades ago.
Adia has over 20 years of experience spanning the telecoms and consulting industries. She began her career in 2001 in the U.S. Cellular Corporation in America as a Radio Frequency Engineer, before moving to Deloitte Consulting LLP, Chicago, the United States of America as Management Consultant in 2007. In 2010, she returned to Nigeria and joined EMTS/Etisalat Nigeria/9Mobile holding multiple leadership positions as Head Strategy and Business Development, Head Digital Media and then Director, Digital Business until her departure in 2018.
She then joined Migo formerly Mines.io, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A as Managing Director for their Nigerian Office and then Vice President, Growth between 2018 and 2020. She joined MTN from Thrive Agric, Nigeria where she served as the Chief Executive Officer, bringing to MTN key knowledge and expertise in commerce, strategic business planning and growth, digital infrastructure and a track record of designing, building and scaling tech-driven platform companies in emerging markets delivering +$100M businesses.
Aishah Ahmad — She is the Deputy Governor and member of the governing board, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), where she leads the work of stabilizing the financial systems in Nigeria. She is the Chairperson of the National Financial Inclusion Technical Committee (NFTIC), where she pilots the attainment of financial inclusion goals in Nigeria.
Before her appointment as deputy governor, she was the Head of retail, consumer banking and wealth management at Diamond bank plc and Head of private client and private banking at Stanbic IBTC. She served as the Chairperson, Executive Council at Women in Management, Business & Public Service (WIMBIZ). She is an expert with over 22 years in financial advisory and wealth management in leading banking institutions in the country.
Alison Badenhorst — She is the Chief Marketing Officer of Rand Merchant Bank (RMB). Where she drives innovation and the optimization of the RMB brand and consumer experience. Prior to becoming CMO, she was the Head of Corporate Marketing at RMB. She was once the Head of Marketing at Standard Bank Group, then served as the Head of Marketing at Absa Capital, after which she became the Director of Corporate & Investment Banking Marketing at Standard Bank Group.
She is an expert in branding, marketing and communications with experience spanning over 20 years in the financial service sector.
Andrea Quaye — She is the Senior Director, Global Category Lead-Coffee, The Coca-Cola Company. Prior to this she was the Vice President of Marketing at Anheuser-Busch, Africa, where she led the disruption of the Nigerian market with the Trophy and Hero Lager brands, another exploit was when the Carling Black Label ‘Be the Coach’ campaign won the Grand Prix at the Loeries; an African and Middle Eastern premier award that celebrates creative excellence in advertising. She was the first female Marketing Director of South African Breweries (SAB), during which she led digital marketing for all SAB brands.
For over 20 years, she has been involved in the growth of marketing strategies and has for the latter years executed the acceleration and profitability of multi-billion-dollar beverage brands in Africa. Her experience traverses Unilever, Cell-C, SAB and Coca-Cola.
Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh — She is the Strategic Partnerships Lead for the African Continent for Microsoft’s newly formed Africa Transformation Office. Prior to her current role, she was the first female and African regional head for IBM North, East and West Africa.
She has also served at UBS Investment Bank and ABN AMRO in the UK. She was the Head of Consumer Banking for GTBank Ghana and Head of Prestige Banking for UBA Bank Ghana. Since joining IBM Ghana in 2011, she has worked across various business units in East and West Africa and served a global role for IBM in the United States of America. In 2015, she became the first female Country Manager for IBM in Africa, a role that saw her broker some of the largest deals in East and West Africa.
Angela has over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing across the financial services and technology industry, balanced between global and local stints. She is a recipient of the US African Women Forum’s Global Impact Leadership Award, African Achievers Awards for Excellence in Business and is also ranked as one of Africa’s most influential women by Avance Media. She has served on many boards and is currently a board member of the Central Bank of Ghana.
Anne Muraya — She is the CEO of Deloitte East Africa. She started her career at Deloitte in 1994 as an auditor, shortly after graduating from Kenyatta University with a Bachelor of Education degree. She rose through ranks and made several historic firsts. In 2017, she became.the first female East Africa Audit leader, In 2021, she became first female Africa Managing Partner for Responsible Business and Public Policy and now She is the first woman to hold the CEO position for the East Africa arm of Deloitte.
She has a wealth of audit and accounting experience having served clients in a wide range of industries including banking, financial services, manufacturing and agriculture.
She sits in the Deloitte Global Advisory Council, a 30-member team of executives that advises the firm’s global CEO. She is also a member of Deloitte Africa Audit Executive Committee (Exco). EXCO sets the strategic direction of the Audit & Assurance business for the African region and monitors the execution of that strategy.Muraya is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Kenya (ICPAK) and Uganda (ICPAU).
Audrey Abakah — She is the Head of SME, Agency banking and Partnership at Absa Ghana. She has over 16 years working relationship with Barclays Bank. Her Leadership has transformed the SME business from a non-performing state to a thriving business winning the best SME bank for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Prior to this role, she served as the Head of Service Excellence and was a member of The country management team for 4 years. She extensively championed customer service transformation to significantly improve the service experience.
As a multiple award winner, She has received 2 citations as the best SME personality of the year 2021 and Financial inclusion personality of the year 2021 at the 8th edition of the Women in Banking and Finance award 2021. She is a recipient of the prestigious Excellence in Corporate Leadership Award 2021at the SHE Awards in Dubai by Ladies in business magazine global.
Audrey is a human capital development coach with a strong passion to help people unlock their potential and discover their purpose through mentoring and coaching relationships. She is a training facilitator and has extensively trained leaders within Barclays and other organisations She is a motivational and conference speaker, a preacher, and workshop facilitator. She is the Board Chairperson of Rehoboth Foundation and also the President of the Women Network Forum at Absa, championing Gender D & I within the bank.
Brenda Mbathi — is the Chief Executive Officer of General Electric (GE) East Africa, where she is responsible for managing government relations, the implementation of the OneGE and leads the sustainability of all GE’s business across East Africa.
She was once the Director of Corporate Affairs for East African Breweries (a subsidiary of Diageo Group). She is the Director of Energy and Education at Keyan Private Sector Alliance (KESPA) and Governor of MPESA Foundation Academy.
She is an expert with 27 years in managing company reputation, CSR, stakeholders and government relations.
Cezanne Maherali — She is the Director of Public Policy for Middle East and Africa at Uber. In her role, she leads the team responsible for our public policy efforts across 15 countries in the region.
Cezanne joined Uber in 2016 as the senior manager, Public Policy Africa and then went on to lead policy for the Middle East and Africa. As the head of Policy for Uber East Africa, She led government relations and supported cities to move towards smart mobility in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Until recently, she was also leading policy engagement for Nigeria and Ghana. She also served as an Engagement Manager with McKinsey & Company based out of Kenya and South Africa. Prior to that, she worked in the Transactions and Performance Improvement departments of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Kenya.
She has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University in Canada and an MBA from INSEAD in France and Singapore. Cezanne is passionate about economic development and the ability of technology to deliver impact.
Chantal Umutoni Kagame — Is the Chief Executive officer of Mobile Money Rwanda Ltd, a Fintech subsidiary of MTN Rwanda.
Prior to this role, she held the role of Chief Business and Corporate Affairs Officer since she joined MTN in 2018.
She is a senior Telecom Executive with a track record of excellent achievement in areas of Executive Leadership, Sales and Distribution, Mobile Financial Services, Strategy Development and Execution, Corporate Affairs and Credit Management.
Chantal has also served as the Deputy CEO/COO at Tigo Rwanda for 3 years and Head of Sales, Distribution and Corporate Affairs at the same company from 2011 to 2015.
Clare Akamanzi — She is an International Trade and Investment Lawyer, who is currently the CEO of the Rwanda Development Board and a Cabinet Member. She has served the Government of Rwanda in several senior positions for the last 15 years. a lawyer, public administrator, businesswoman and politician, who has served as the executive director and chief executive officer of the Rwanda Development Board.
She began her career in 2004 in Geneva, Switzerland at the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters. The government of Rwanda appointed her as a diplomat/special trade negotiator at the WTO. Later, she transferred to the Rwandan embassy in London, the United Kingdom as the commercial diplomat (commercial attaché).
She returned to Rwanda in 2006 and was appointed Deputy Director General of the then Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (RIEPA) “before RDB was merged with other institutions in 2008”. In 2008, Akamanzi became the Deputy Chief Executive Officer responsible for Business Operations and Services, at RDB. She later transitioned to being the Chief Operating Officer of the Rwanda Development Board. She then took study leave to pursue graduate studies in the United States.Clare was named among the Inaugural List of 100 Most Influential African Women in 2019 by Avance Media.
Dara Treseder — She is SVP, Head of Global Marketing & Communications at Peloton, the world’s largest interactive fitness platform. At Peloton, Dara sets the strategy and goals for Peloton’s marketing efforts to build the Peloton brand and drive the company’s growth and international expansion. She also oversees brand, strategic marketing, consumer strategy & insights, communications, and creative. Prior to that, She was previously the CMO of Carbon and the CMO of GE Business Innovations & GE Ventures. Earlier in her career, she led marketing and growth efforts at Apple and Goldman Sachs.
Dara has received several awards and industry recognition for her work. In 2021 she was honored with Adweek’s CMO award and Campaign US’ Fearless Pioneer award. In 2020, she was recognized by Forbes as one of the Most Influential CMOs in the world, by Silicon Valley Business Journal as one of Silicon Valley’s top 40 leaders under 40, by Adweek as one of the Women Trailblazers, and by Business Insider as one of the Top 25 Most Innovative CMOs in the World. In 2019, she was named a CMO to Watch by Business Insider and inducted into the Advertising Hall of Achievement, the premier industry recognition for leaders under 40 who are making a significant impact in the industry and in their communities. In 2018, she was recognized by Forbes as a “CMO Next”—one of the 50 Marketing Chiefs Redefining the Role and Shaping the Future. Dara was also recognized in 2018 by AdAge as one of the “Women to Watch.” In 2017, she was recognized in Inc. Magazine as one of the “30 Inspirational Women to Watch in Tech.”
Dorothy Ghettuba Pala — is the Netflix Manager, International Originals Africa and the Chairperson of the Kenya Film Commission Board. As Head of African Original Programming, she is cultivating African stories to release on Netflix’s immense, global platform.
She started her journey in the media and entertainment industry by co-founding Spielworks Media Limited, a regional leader in content creation, production, distribution and broadcast. In ten years since its inception, Spielworks has produced award winning properties; 18 Television Shows, over 20 shows for the web and over 40 movies for Television. Dorothy is also the co-founder of Keja TV an online Social TV Channel targeted at Africans in the Diaspora and on the continent.Dorothy through her companies is dedicated to developing creative talent, creating quality content and telling authentic African stories that engage audiences. She is passionate about solving problems from an end user perspective and uses Design Thinking as a tool to achieve this.
Dorothy was recognized as Business Daily Top 40 Under 40 Women in Kenya in 2011 and 2014, Top 40 Under 40 Women in Film in Africa and Msafiri’s Top 50 Business People in Kenya. She is an alumnus of The Bucerius School of Global Governance in Hamburg, Germany and a 2016 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow. She is a graduate of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies SEED program and she is dedicated to telling the African story.
Dr. Natu El-maamry Mwamba — She is the Chairperson, Board of Directors Tanzania Standard Newspapers (TSN) Ltd. She was formerly the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Tanzania for 6 years and the first woman to ever hold such an executive position at the Bank of Tanzania.
Prior to her appointment, Dr. Natu was senior lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam. She holds a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom and a Masters’ degree from the University of Dar es Salaam.
She is renowned for initiating the gender inclusion policy after she raised issues on the gender gap with the central bank’s executive office, a new policy was developed to appoint a female senior manager to the internal committees that lacked female director representation which enhanced committees to be more gender inclusive. Dr. Mwamba is an accomplished publisher, with dozens of academic publications to her name, covering various economic, social and women issues.
Dzene Makhwade-Seboni — She is the Chief Executive Officer, Mascom Wireless. She doubles as the first Motswana in this role and the first female to lead digital communication technology in Botswana.
She has worked as the Marketing Manager both in Stanbic Bank and Barclays Bank . She was once Territory Manager at The Coca-Cola Company and Market Development Manager at Kgalagadi Breweries Ltd. She is an industry expert who started her career in 1993 in strategic and commercial leadership in the digital, fast-moving consumer goods and banking space.
Elizabeth Elango — She is the CEO and Head of School at Global Village Project, the only school in the US established specifically for refugee girls. GVP provides newly resettled girls in and around Decatur, GA to reactivate their education and prepare for high school and beyond. In this role she helps define strategy, lead programs, ensure sound operations, resourcing, thought leadership and impact.
Prior to this, she was the CEO of JA Africa, an organization engaging in entrepreneurship education, financial literacy and workforce readiness for youth and working in 14 countries in Africa. She also served for 15 years at Heifer International, leaving there as Vice-President of Africa programs.
She is a non-profit professional with over 20 years of experience working in developing countries and emerging economies. She is a recipient of the Madhuri and Jagdish N. Sheth Distinguished Alumni Award for Exceptional Humanitarian and Service Achievement, 2019 Anzisha Prize for Entrepreneurship Evangelism and was selected as one of the 100 Most Influential African Women. She speaks extensively on development and education in Africa including on platforms like BBC World and CNBC Africa.
Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu — She is the Chief Marketing Officer of two of the most ambitious insurance companies in Nigeria, Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life.
She is the co-founder for a few passion projects such as FigoCard, a company changing the way people network, Tribahl, the first pan-African influencer marketing company and GapX, a company on a mission to realize a corporate Africa where 50/50 representation of females in leadership is the norm.
Ifesinachi is also a writer, marketing communications professional, screenwriter, artist and an advocate for working women. She has managed the marketing portfolios of pan-African companies across sectors spanning investment, technology, real estate, media/production, philanthropy, and most recently, insurance. She has served as a jury member and script consultant on the Nigeria Film Integrity Awards for up-and-coming creative talent, Homevida. She has also served thrice as a jury member of Africa’s most prestigious movie awards, Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, AMVCA.
Isha Sesay — She is the Chief Executive Officer of Okay Media. Her roles include launching the production of programs that would amplify the voices of black people in the diaspora.
She also serves on the board of directors at Okay Media. Before joining Okay Media, she spent 13 years as an international reporter at CNN, and became an accidental activist after leading the coverage of the 2014 kidnapping of over 200 Chibok girls in Northern Nigeria. She anchored CNN “NewsCenter” and also hosted CNN’s “BackStory” where she was able to highlight a lot of issues in Africa. She became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNFPA in 2020. She is also the author of ‘Beneath the Tamarind Tree’.
Jane Karuku — She is currently the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of East African Breweries Ltd and the Managing Director of Kenya Breweries Limited. She is a highly experienced professional who has worked across diverse sectors, including Fast-moving Consumer goods, Telecommunications and Non-Profit sectors. Her career has developed from Brand Management, Operations Management to General management and Non-profit sector leadership.
She is currently the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of East African Breweries Ltd and the Managing Director of Kenya Breweries Limited.
She has served in different Managerial roles at various organisations; in January 2002, she was appointed as the Managing Director of Cadbury Schweppes. She served as the Deputy Chief Executive and Secretary-General of Telkom Kenya – Orange for almost two years.
For almost three years, she was the President of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa before serving as the Non-Executive Director of Barclays Bank Kenya for more than eleven years. Her purpose in life is to “Grow people with energy” and inspire them to unleash their potential. She is very passionate about this, as it gives me great pleasure when she sees them on their way to fulfilling their dreams for themselves, their organisations and the community.
Joyce Ann Wainaina — She is the Head of Global Subsidiaries Group for Citi Sub Saharan Africa. She was previously the Chief Executive Officer at Citi East Africa covering Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Before this role, she served as the Citi Country Officer (CCO) for Citibank Zambia Ltd for about 4 years.
Her career started in 1990 as an Executive Relationship Manager in Citi and has had an expansive experience in corporate leadership, banking, and management from Eastern to Southern African regions. She is said to be among the first female CEOs in Kenya.
Joyce-Ann is passionate about developing talent in Africa; she co-designed the Sapphire Leadership Programme, a mentoring program for senior talent development in Citi across Middle East and Africa. She also partnered with the Kenya Bankers Association and the Central Bank of Kenya to establish a mentorship program for Women Leaders in the Banking industry in Kenya. She is a founding Trustee of the JB Wanjui Education Trust focused on providing grants to girls in university in Kenya. Joyce-Ann also invests in emerging business enterprises founded by Africans.
Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu — She is the Regional Director, Eastern Africa, IFC. Jumoke leads the implementation of International Finance Corporation’s strategy in the sub-region and manages key relationships with clients, partners, government officials, and across the World Bank Group. Prior to IFC, Jumoke worked in the Nigerian banking sector providing corporate banking services to corporate clients, mainly in the beverages, fast moving consumer goods, and tire sectors.
Under her portfolio, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed a $3.7 million (Rwf3.8bn) loan agreement with 3B Group of Hotels to support its construction of a 30-room mid-market safari camp in Akagera National Park.The new project is expected to create more than 90 permanent jobs, and more temporary jobs during the construction phase with the investment expected to support the company’s expansion and the upgrading of its existing lodges in the country, according to officials.
Londy Ngcobo — She is the Director, Womaritime Experts, a consulting firm in the shipping industry. A Global Ship Navigator, Africa’s First Female Dredge Master and Founder of Global Maritime Youth.Londy Ngcobo is passionate about unlocking Africa’s ocean economy. With over 2 decades of experience in the Maritime industry, her background includes Maritime Studies, International Merchant shipping experience, Advanced dredging from the Netherlands IHC, an industry-shaking role as a former Executive Maritime Compliance Manager for Transnet National Ports Authority, now she is a Chief Executive of Womaritime Experts and Founder of Global Maritime Youth, all of which continues to echo her well-known title “The BLACKMERMAID”
Captain Londy is a multi-award-winning lady who has served on various boards in the transport sector and influential organisations within leadership, women, and youth spheres ensuring continuous development of Africa’s transport professions through advocacy, training, and awareness as well as strengthening the competitiveness and employment creating the potential for Africans.
She is passionate about women and youth empowerment and uses her experience to focus on providing sustainable tools for women to thrive and her zest for life encourages the youth to think outside the box. Londy is popular for her popular TEDx Talk “Anchors Aweigh, No Rest For The First”
Lucy Wairimu — She is the Director of People and Culture, Mercy Corps. She is also a Non Executive Director at Predictive Analytics Lab. She also sits on several boards such as; CBM Kenya, EWD Foundation.
With more than 18 years of progressive global experience in international development organisations and collaboration with Ministries of health in Africa, she has led large teams and turned around People and Culture departments into strategic business partners that become an integral part in achieving business objectives.
She is an Internationally certified professional workplace Mediator and Trainer, certified Professional of Human Resources International and Society of Human Resources Management Certified Professional and a seasoned and active SPHRi and CHRBP Certifications Trainer, International and local Board Director, Board Evaluator and a Transformative leader. She is also a Fellow at the American Academy of Project Management ( AAPM), a member of the Kenya Institute of Directors Kenya (IoD-K), The Institute of Human Resources Management (IHRM), The Kenya Institute of Management (KIM) and MTI East Africa.
Maguy A. Fonkwen — She is the Deputy Managing Director of UBA Cameroon . She is an experienced & successful banking executive with diverse domestic experience and an international outlook. At UBA CAMEROON, Maguy is responsible for leading the growth & development of the company’s short- and long-term strategy.
She started her career in 1998 as a customer service sales representative of Societe Generale de Banques which lasted for two years. After which she joined Standard Chartered Bank as the Head of Direct sales, was then promoted to the position of the Account Relationship Manager – Corporate/ Public Sector where she served for another four years. She left Standard Chartered Bank as the Sales and Service Quality Manager after serving for almost two as half years in that position.
Maguy then joined UBA (United Bank for Africa) Cameroon, in August 2008 as the business office manager (Liberte Branch) and then rose through the ranks to her current role as the Deputy Managing Director.
Mary Ojulari — She is the President of European Business Chamber (Eurocham) and Deputy Managing Director at Weststar Associates Limited(Mercedes-Benz Nigeria).
She is a focused and result oriented finance executive with over 20 years’ experience of which she spent 12 years working in the diaspora. She has worked in a range of senior and director level roles in the media and service sectors. She has a reputation for setting strategic direction and establishing robust working relationships with relevant stakeholders.
She started her professional career with KPMG UK and thereafter moved to Whitbread PLC, the largest hospitality company in the UK. At Whitbread PLC, she was part of the team that implemented change management and carried out the due diligence for the sale of 160 restaurants to a Venture Capitalist. Mary worked in the media industry for 12 years (British Broadcasting Company (BBC), CNBC Africa & Forbes). She worked in leadership roles at the BBC, CNBC Africa & Forbes providing strategic direction and ensuring short to medium and long-term plans for the companies were viable and implemented.
Meaza Ashenafi — She is the first woman to become the President/Chief Justice at the Federal Supreme Court of Ethiopia and a well-known women’s rights advocate having made immense contributions, among other things, as the co-founder of the Ethiopian Women Lawyers’ Association (EWLA) and founder of women’s bank (Enat Bank).
In 1993, she was recruited as a researcher and advisor for the Human Rights Committee of the Ethiopian Constitution Drafting Commission, a body in charge of drafting the current constitution. There, she played a key role by helping draft strong regulations for the protection of women’s and children’s rights. While she was working in the commission, she was sent to The Hague for training where she was introduced to issues of international human rights and met with various African women advocating for women’s rights.
Meaza became the acting director of Inter-Africa Group which, among other things, facilitated the debates between different political parties in the 2002 Ethiopian national election. Starting from 2011, Meaza became an adviser to the Gender and Social Policy Development Department of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) for about six years. While working at the UNECA, Meaza volunteered to work for the establishment of the first women’s Bank, Enat Bank, together with other women. Throughout the years, Meaza Ashenafi has gained domestic and international recognition for her tireless work in promoting women’s rights in Ethiopia and receiving numerous awards for philanthropy and leadership.
Minoush Abdel-Meguid — She is the Chief Executive Officer, Mezzan, an investment Management firm. She is a long-term banker and private equity executive with stints at Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Citibank. She has worked on several high-profile transactions. She was the Managing Director and Co-founder of Union Capital Partners, the first private equity firm in Egypt to be uniquely focused on the SMEs investment space.
Prior to this, Minoush took part in the reform of the Egyptian Capital Market Authority (CMA) while serving as the Assistant to the Chairman and Head Corporate Finance Division. Minoush was also the Founding President of Egyptian Young Bankers Association, an NGO helping young bankers network and improve their skill set. She served as Chairperson of the Board and Editor-in-Chief of the Egyptian Banker publication until 2008. She was also the sole Egyptian participant at the US State Department’s International Visitors’ Leadership Program in 2005 with a focus on “Women in Economic Development”.
Minoush has received several awards such as Forbes list of the Most Powerful Women in Africa in 2011, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and serves as an active member among the WEF and the YGL global communities, selected by the Paris-based French Institut Choiseul among the 100 future leaders of the African continent to mention but a few.
Naike Moshi — She is the Country Director of CVPeople Tanzania and the founder and CEO of Women in Management Africa (WIMA), an NGO that aims to increase visibility for women leaders and celebrates their achievements.
As a specialist in Pan African Recruitment and Talent Acquisition with over 12 years of progressive experience, she observed the gaps in women applying for positions especially in senior roles and this ultimately led to the birth of Women in Management Africa (WIMA) which is aimed at improving gender balance and diversity on boards and in leadership roles.
Naike has mentored over 1500 women, with more than 135 Women in Management honored and received awards for their contribution to leadership. She has successfully provided training to over 420 Youths in Tanzania on workforce readiness & employability skills via the program Passport to Employment project (P2E) which has fostered development and growth of Youths income and business ventures in Tanzania. She has Interviewed over 1000 non-executives for different roles and placed over hundreds of executive and board member positions.
Nene Maiga — She is Chief Executive Officer of Orange, Botswana. She is also a board member of Orange Botswana. Before this, she worked as the Chief of Staff to the Chief Executive Officer of Orange, Africa and Middle East.
She started her career in France, where she worked as a business analyst and consultant. Her work traversed organisations like Pregis, CGI, CANAL+ and Sonatel Group. After she returned to Mali,she worked as the Managing Director of Orange Finances Mobiles Mali, where she led the distribution and adoption of e-wallet transactions in grassroot communities to promote financial inclusion in the country. She is an expert with experience in business development, contactless payment and financial inclusion.
Nnenna Onyewuchi — She is the Co-founder and director of strategy of Yellow Brick Road, a full-service communications agency based in Lagos. She has over 20 years’ experience across a variety of creative disciplines including advertising, experiential marketing, film production and pay-tv. She started her career in New Business at McCann Erickson, New York and rose to the position of vice president.
Nnenna has held positions at Chris Parkes Marketing Solutions, Small World Media, HiTV and TBWA/Concept. She joined ZK Advertising in 2007. In 2011, Nnenna and her partners took it over, rebranding it and growing it into one of Nigeria’s most respected agencies. She has over served with global brands like MTV, Coca-Cola, BAT, Motorola, Absolut and Microsoft, as well as leading local brands, including Dangote, Zain, Robb, Joy, FCMB and Peak Milk.
She sits on the board of several indigenous companies and served as chairperson of the board of WAVE, a non-profit working to solve youth unemployment in the West African sub-region.
Nthabi Motsoeneng — She is the Marketing Director Sub-saharan Africa, Pernod Ricard where she leads brand strategy and innovation. She started leading marketing as a Marketing Manager at 3M, then she joined Kimberly-Clark as a Marketing Lead. After this she spent 2years+ as Marketing Director at Tetra Park before joining Pernod and Ricard.
Her career started in 2000 as a Sales Coordinator at SABMiller, after this, she moved to become National Merchandise Coordinator and after 5yrs left as the Assistant Brand Manager- Amstel Lager. She continued her career as a Brand Manager and Senior Brand Manager at The Coca-cola Company. She also served as Brand Manager in GlaxoSmithKline and Senior Brand Manager in Tiger Brands. She is an expert with over 20 years of experience in branding, marketing and sales. Experience acquired from top retail companies in SA.
Olufunke Baruwa — She is the Program Officer for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice at Ford Foundation, where she leads work on ending violence against women and girls. She is a gender and development practitioner with almost two decades of experience from government and civil society focusing on public policy, gender advocacy, civil society strengthening and governance.
Prior to joining Ford, she was the Civil Society and Media Specialist in the Peace & Democratic Governance Office of USAID/Nigeria where she designed and led multi-million-dollar civil society strengthening projects.
She has led several social policies and reforms in Nigeria and has served at various times as Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund, a technical and financial resource for women in governance in Nigeria; Program Officer at the defunct Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund and National Poverty Eradication Program (NAPEP); Gender Advisor at the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs; and as a Technical Assistant Research, Policy & Planning in the Ministry of Communication Technology.
Pauline W Mbayah — She is the Executive Director/Head of Stanbic Bank Kenya – Stanbic Foundation. Before joining Stanbic Foundation, she served as the Director of Strategy and Partnership of African Enterprise Challenge Fund in Nairobi, Kenya.
She is an Experienced Director Of Business Development with a demonstrated history of working in the management consulting industry. She is skilled in Business Planning, Management, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Leadership, and Policy Analysis. She is an International Development Professional with over 20 years of Experience across Sub-Saharan Africa, providing leadership to various United Nations Agencies, International Development Organizations, Philanthropic Institutions, and Private Sector Companies. She is responsible for directing and overseeing all policies, strategies, objectives, and initiatives related to the Foundation’s Activities in Kenya and South Sudan.
She also served as the Director of Business Development of African Management Services Company (AMSCO) in Johannesburg, South Africa and was responsible for identifying/creating meaningful partnerships, establishing a business in new markets and creating value that leads to long term growth and improves profitability.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka — She is the Former Executive Director of UN Women & Deputy President of SA, Founder of Umlambo Foundation Gender Activist, where she supports leadership and education and a Campaigner for Universal Access to Education. Having devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and social justice, Phumzile has worked in government, private sector and civil society and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa.
For 3 years, she served as Deputy President of South Africa, overseeing programmes to combat poverty and bring the advantages of a growing economy to the poor, with a particular focus on women. Prior to this, Phumzile served as Minister of Minerals and Energy from 1999 to 2005 and Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry from 1996 to 1999. She was a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1996 as part of South Africa’s first democratic government.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka began her career as a teacher and gained international experience as a coordinator at the World YWCA in Geneva, where she established a global programme for young women. A longtime champion of women’s rights, she is affiliated with several organizations devoted to education, women’s empowerment and gender equality.
Ruth Zaipuna — She is the Chief Executive Officer of NMB Bank Plc, Tanzania and is responsible for driving the Bank’s corporate strategy to deliver sustainable business growth.
She launched her career in 2002 at PwC where she served in the audit of banks and other financial institutions. At PwC, Ruth rose through the ranks to the level of Associate Director. She also served as the Executive Director Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Standard Chartered Bank. She also served as Business Finance Lead for the East African cluster, overseeing and leading the Bank’s business finance activities in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.
Ruth is an Independent Non-Executive Director for Tanzania Portland Cement Company Limited (TPCC), the leading cement producing company in Tanzania and listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange. She is also an Associate Certified Public Accountant (ACPA (T)).
Rebecca Miano — is the Managing Director & CEO at Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen), the leading electric power producer in East Africa. She is the first female CEO of KenGen since incorporation of the company in 1954 and one of the few women to ever head a parastatal in Kenya.
With close to three decades of experience in the energy sector, Rebecca began her career in 1991 at the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC). Over the years, she has carved a niche for herself in Business Law and Corporate Governance. She also served in the Finance Committee of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK). Between July 2015 and February 2016, she served as Acting. Human Resource and Administration Director in addition to the role of Company Secretary and Legal Affairs Director.
In 2019, Rebecca was appointed to the Board of Global Compact Network, Kenya. In the same year, she was named among Africa’s Top 100 Women CEOs by Reset Global People, Pulse and Avance Media.She was also awarded the Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) by H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta for her contribution towards the growth of Kenya’s energy sector.In July 2020, she joined the World Bank Group’s Advisory Council on Gender and Development. She is a registered Certified Public Secretary of Kenya, as well as a member of the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya (ICPSK) and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK).
Rita Kavashe – is the CEO, Isuzu Motors East Africa Limited (formerly General Motors East Africa, GMEA), the largest motor vehicle assembler in the region selling a wide range of Isuzu vehicles. Rita’s career in GM began in 1995 in its East African operations where she worked for over 2 decades and half, and successfully transitioned the company to Isuzu East Africa in 2017.
Prior to her current position, Rita held several key roles in Sales and Marketing organisations both in Kenya and South Africa, and participated in GM sponsored leadership programs including the Harvard Business School Leadership Program.
Rita holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education received from Moi University, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Nairobi. She is also an Executive Coach certified by the Academy of Executive Coaches (AOEC) UK.
Samah el Saghier — She is the Chief People and Culture officer, AXA Egypt.
She started her career in 1999 as an Assistant Business Development Director at EGYTRANS. Then moved to become a Marketing Executive at Orascom Hotels & Development. A pivotal moment came when she joined Orange, during which she served as a Senior HR expert, a Technology Training Advisor and left Orange as a Senior Manager. After this, she served as HR Director at Juhayna Food Industries for 3 years before joining AXA Egypt as Chief Human Resource Officer. During this time, she worked with her team to develop and execute HR strategies to support the overall business.
Saran Diakité Kaba — She is the Directrice Générale Strate, Ecole de Design. Since graduating from ENSCI Les Ateliers (the National French school of industrial design) with a masters degree, she has worked in France and around the world as a specialist in User Centred Design. Her work includes projects for Orange, EDF, Fagorbrandt, Alcatel Lucent, Dassault Systems, Eiffage, Bouygues, Decathlon and PSA Groupe !
She is often in a situation of driving change, new challenges with the agencies Plan Creatif (Babel), Absolute Design (BETC Design), 3e-Oeil Studio (Dassault Systèmes Design Studio) and PSA introduced me to the world of innovation by design & user experience. Her projects which span automotive design to museum experience are frequently unusual and highly innovative in their attempt to imagine better designed futures with magical interactions and recently have included : visions for sustainable living in french biggest towns in 2030, interactive ways for young people to learn about all trades, re-imagining television or radio and leading HMI/usages for actual cars, cockpits and next generation of autonomous cars which will exist in our public space completely differently to cars today.
Senor Thomas Sowe — She is the Founder and Executive Vice Chair at Royal Insurance Gambia Limited.
With over 30 years of experience in Insurance and Risk Management. She previously worked at International Insurance Company (Gambia) Limited, where she worked for over 11 years handling different Managerial roles, she later left in February 2013 as the Managing Director before starting a position at International Insurance Company Limited as the chief Operating Officer- Insurance before becoming the Executive vice chair in March 2014.
Sotande Peters Adesola — She is the CFO Africa, USA and Middle East at Godrej Consumer Products Limited. She is an Experienced Finance Executive and business leader with vast experience in leading financial processes and strategies within organizations to deliver sustainable growth and results for shareholders and other stakeholders.
She joined Unilever in January 2015, where she served as the National Finance Director before becoming the Chief Financial Officer of Unilever Ghana and Nigeria; she was Responsible for all financial operations in Unilever Nigeria Plc and Unilever, Ghana Plc. In January 2018, she was appointed the Vice President of Finance Nigeria/Ghana & Africa Control, where she served for more than four years; before joining Unilever. She has also served as the Financial Director of Guinness Cameroon SA – Diageo Plc for almost three years.
She has an extensive record of success working (and overseeing financial control processes) in global markets (including Great Britain, Kenya, Cameroon and Nigeria) and in multiple industries, including Banking/Finance, FMCG/Manufacturing, and Telecoms and Maritime. Adesola is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Institute of Credit of Administration.
Taelo Mojapelo — She is the Chief Executive Officer and Vice President, British Petroleum Southern Africa. Prior to being elected as the CEO of BP Southern Africa, Mojapelo was the head of optimization and supply at the company and previously held several leadership roles in multinational companies including, Mondelez International, Kellog’s and DHL.
Taelo is a certified supply chain professional, a certified director with the Institute of Directors (IoDSA) as well as a University of Witwatersrand sessional lecturer in modular supply chain.
Temitayo Dada — She is the Trade Commissioner at the Deputy High Commission of Canada. Her role is to lead multilateral trade relations between Canada and Africa businesses in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe.
She is an expert in managing international business relationships and engaging with local stakeholders like government bodies. She has experience in consultancy, contract administration, procurement and communication. She has also managed programs for the government Federal Republic of Nigeria, like the Social Investment Program.
Her career started in HSBC, since then she has worked in big corporations like JPMorgan Chase & Co, Credo Advisory and international development organisations like the UKaid department of International Development (DFID). She is the editor of ‘Market of Dreams’.
Tesi Rusagara — She is the Managing Director at Kigali Innovation City. She manages what one can easily describe as the ‘silicon valley’ of Kigali. Managing all tech innovations and investment by local and international institutions.
Before becoming Managing Director of KIC, she was a Senior Consultant-Strategy & Operations at Deloitte, San Francisco. She worked to develop academic scientific innovations to profitable business ventures.
She has worked in the Office of the President of Rwanda in the Economic Policy & Strategy Unit and also in the Bank of Kigali as an Investor Relations and Business Developer. Her expertise is in angel investment, start-up management, and economic policy development. She is also a Founding Member of Business Angels Rwanda, working to fund tech ventures in Rwanda
Tunu Kinabo — She is a change executive and partner at Waka Ltd. She currently serves as a board member at CSI Energy Group and Grand Reinsurance. With over 18 years’ experience in senior decision making, strategy and change management from working for a global corporate FMCG and a sub-Saharan Africa energy infrastructure contractor. This has made her adept in strategizing and leading transformations of different disciplines including brand management, trade marketing, human resources, procurement, IT, communications and operations. She now leads Waka, a professional services firm focusing on change management and people effectiveness.
Uche Ofodile — She is the Chief Executive Officer at MTN BENIN and Chairwoman, MTN Benin Mobile Money. She is a senior business leader with expertise in building businesses in emerging markets. With over 15 years handling leadership positions, she has been the driving force behind transformative change in blue-chip multinational companies.
Prior to her current role at MTN, she served as the Chief Commercial Officer with MTS and was instrumental in restructuring the business and relaunching the brand to capture game-changing growth in revenues, brand recognition, and customers.She also served as the Chief Marketing Officer at Vodafone Ghana and pushed was a major force for the growth of the struggling business, with deteriorating market share, into the country’s #2 telecommunications providers. Under her leadership as the Chief Marketing Officer, Uche was instrumental in delivering 3 consecutive years of double-digit revenue growth, resulting in significant awards such as “Telecommunications Company of the Year,” “Best Telecom Brand,” and “Most Admired Brand.”
Uche also served as CEO of Tigo DRC and transformed the business in less than 18 months. She rebuilt the business strategy, ignited 20% year-over-year growth, positioned the company for rapid market share gains, and revitalized the workforce through strategic cultural and diversity programs. These strong commercial results catalyzed the acquisition of the company by Orange, the French multinational telecom giant, to deliver significant value to shareholders.spokesperson in forums worldwide. Uche is committed to nurturing and empowering the next generation of leaders.
Ukonwa Kuzi-Orizu Ojo — She is the Global CMO, Amazon Prime Videos & Studios Global & General Manager for Prime Video US Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) service.
Prior to this role, Ukonwa served as Global Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President for M.A.C Cosmetics, a multi-billion dollar cultural icon and the world’s #1 Makeup Brand. Before that, she served as Global General Manager & CMO for an iconic portfolio including CoverGirl, Clairol, Sally Hansen, Rimmel, and Lifestyle Scenting/Fragrances. She is a seasoned C-Suite Executive & General Manager that brings simplicity to complexity, with over 2 decades of experience delivering business results through a differentiated vision and strategy, astute P&L and operational management, creative communication that cuts through, social/digital/product innovation, and leading teams to achieve more than they think is possible.
Over the course of her career, she has been recognized with over 50 awards and honours for driving outstanding market leading results and delivering creative campaigns/innovations that motivate people to act including Forbes 50 Most Influential CMOs, Business Insider’s Most Innovative CMOs, Variety’s Most Influential Women in Entertainment, AdAge 50 and A List, Adweek 50, WWD Brand Builder of the Year, WFA Global Marketer of the Year List and Financial Times Upstanding 100.
Winnie Byanyima — She is the Executive Director, UNAIDS, where she leads the UN intervention to end AIDS by 2030. She is also an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. Before this, she was the Executive Director of Oxfam International. She led the establishment of the Women, Gender and Development Directorate in the African Union Commission(AU) and served as the first Director in 2004. In 1989, she was Acting Ambassador to France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey.
She is also an engineer, a diplomat and a politician, she was elected for 3 terms as a member of parliament in the National Assembly of Uganda. She served in the Ugandan parliament for 10 years and led the first women caucus in the parliament, this directly impacted the position of women and gender equality in Uganda.
She is a force in the international development sector, a human right champion and pioneer of gender equality in Africa. She was Deputy Permanent Delegate of Uganda to UNESCO and Director, Gender Team, Bureau for Development Policy in the UNDP.
Yvonne Ike — She is the Managing Director and head of Sub Saharan Africa at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Prior to joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch in September 2014, Yvonne was a Chief Executive Officer at West Africa at Renaissance Capital, where she was responsible for the firm’s West Africa franchise covering Investment Banking and Securities Trading. From 1984 to 2009, Yvonne was a managing director at JP Morgan. She also served as a partner at Africapital Management Limited from 2009 to 2011. Yvonne started her career as an auditor with Ernst and Young International and has been an FSAregistered representative since 1994.
She has more than 20 years experience in the financial services, including capital markets operations and fixed income, derivatives and equities products. Over the course of her career, Yvonne has led senior teams in New York, Geneva, Hong Kong, Nigeria, India and South Africa. She is a trustee of The Bridge Leadership Academy, Christopher Kolade Foundation and The Dangote Foundation. She is passionate about actively contributing to Africa’s development and is involved in several initiatives including African Gifted Foundation and Women for Women International. She has received many international awards including being recognized by the Queen of England as one of the top 200 business women in the UK to make a significant impact in society.
Zethu Dlamini — is the Chief Marketing Officer (FNB Eswatini). She is an experienced communications executive and entrepreneurial game-changer. She is also a lecturer and communications consultant.
Prior to her role as the CMO of FNB Eswatini, she served as the Non-Executive Director of The Corporate Gap and provided strategic oversight with the Directorship of the Company. She also served as Head of Marketing at FirstRand.
For over a decade, she has specialised in providing marketing, communications, branding and events management solutions for leading public and private enterprises within Swaziland. She has also created valuable content for publications ranging from commemorative national magazines for regional summits (SADC & COMESA,) to sector based publications for Swaziland’s international trade fair, the accountancy sector, women-owned businesses as well as SMEs.